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From Crisis to Challenge: The Contemporary Agunah Experience

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partners with Organization for the Resolution of Agunot (ORA) to hold a conference on facing the Agunah Crisis, “From Crisis to Challenge: The Contemporary Agunah Experience”. 

The conference will address the plight of agunot, discuss halachik and legal issues pertaining to Jewish marriage and divorce, and explore options to ease and prevent the plight of women victimized by recalcitrant husbands.

In Jewish law, the term "Agunah," refers to a Jewish woman who is "chained" to her marriage. The classic case involves a man who has left and not returned, or can refer to a woman whose husband refuses, or is unable, to grant her an official bill of divorce, known as a get.

The day will begin with a viewing of Women Unchained, a 60-minute film documenting the experiences of modern-day “agunot,” women whose husbands refuse to grant them a Jewish divorce. Filmed in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles and Israel, Women Unchained includes illuminating interviews with leading women’s rights advocates, rabbis and other experts. Leta Lenik, producer, and Leslee Ben-Baruch, featured in the film, will present and discuss the film.

Rabbi Jeremy Stern, director of the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot (ORA), and Rabbi Elie Weissman and Divorce Attorney Louis Sroka, Esq., of Young Israel of Plainview, will follow with presentations of “Developments in Halacha Culminating in Prenuptial Agreements” and “New York State Get Law.”

The conference concludes with an opportunity and an invitation for unmarried couples to learn more and even sign the halachik prenuptial agreement, enforceable in a civil court, whose standardization can serve as an inoculation against future agunot (www.theprenup.org). Married couples will also be offered the same opportunity to easily sign a notarized post-nuptial agreement which will bring us closer to 100% participation and a societal expectation of Jewish couples being covered by these agreements.

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